Emaleneangel: Familiar characters and situations belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliates.
Summer Before Hermione's Sixth year
"It won't roll!" said a very frustrated Hermione, slamming the rolling pin down to her side. Fred laughed as he popped another small clump of gingered dough into his mouth. "Don't laugh, this isn't funny."
"You're right we should be performing funeral rituals. The great Hermione Granger can't do something." She attempted to glare at him but felt her lips betraying her with a smile. "Here, I'll show you how to do it." They were alone in the kitchen. Fred was there because he had ruined yet another dinner and Mrs. Weasley wanted him to know how hard they were to make. Hermione, on the other hand, had been slaving away like a house-elf (she hated the comparison but she had to admit it was rather fitting) because Mrs. Weasley had almost had an apoplexy when she found out that she didn't know how to cook.
"Ok, watch what I do," said Fred, grabbing a large lump of dough. "Now you need to roll into a smooth circle. Make sure that you have plenty of flour on your hands." She proceeded to do as he said and wound up with a glob that somewhat resembled his orb. "Not bad," he laughed. "Now slap it down on the paper and roll it out into a nice sheet." Hermione tried but just like the time before she wound up with a doughy collection of hills and valleys.
"See, I can't do it."
"We all know that you have repressed anger—"
"Haha, very funny."
"—But that's no reason to stab the dough with the rolling pin. Pick up the pin again." She did what he said, and to her surprise he moved behind her and wrapped his hands over hers. "Don't fight with the dough, coax it." The wood rolled smoothly over the sticky concoction, but Hermione really wasn't paying attention to the task at hand. Instead she was smelling the man behind her, cheap teenage cologne and butter. 'Merlin, if only Ron and Harry could hear me now. I really need a boyfriend if I'm mooning over Fred.'
"There, it's done." His voice pulled her out of her thoughts. Looking down she was surprised to find an even sheet in front of her.
"I did it," she squealed, and then impulsively turned and wrapped her arms around Fred, only to blush a second later when she realized what she had done and pull away.
"Yeah you did. Hey you have some flour on your nose." But before she could wipe it off he lifted his hand to her face, and rubbed his thumb over her nose.
"You have flour on your hands."
He laughed. "It looks like it doesn't it?" But he didn't remove his hand and his hazel eyes softened. Years later she still wasn't sure if the next part actually happened or if she had wanted it to so badly that she remembered it that way. But in her memories his thumb moved slightly towards her cheek before his hand fell away. Her face suddenly felt cold. "Well we had better cut these guys out."
"Tell me again why we're making ginger bread men in the middle of the summer."
"I don't even pretend to understand my mother. I just follow the sergeant's orders." At that Hermione snorted.
"Hermione," a voice interrupted. They spun around to find Ginny standing in the doorway. "Mum wants you and I for some girl talk." Hermione raised an eyebrow. Ginny sighed, "Don't ask, just follow."
Hermione turned to Fred. "Go, the leader summons you," he shooed her away. Both girls laughed and Hermione removed her apron. The truth was that he was glad to have her gone after what had happened a few moments. He felt awkward and a bit shaken. But all the same he couldn't help but smile when he heard Ginny pause in the hallway and ask, "Hermione why is there flour all over your face?"
I had attempted to fall asleep upon arriving home but I couldn't stop thinking about what Ron had said. The little voices in my head paced around nervously (can voices pace?) as I stared at the ceiling. Finally I got out of bed and began to search through all of my books for a pregnancy detecting charm.
One wrecked apartment later I found myself sitting on the toilet, the only copy I had ever brought of Witch's Weekly in my hands. I stared at the paisley shower curtain for a couple of minutes before I finally got up the courage to point my wand at my abdomen, and mutter the charm.
For a moment nothing happened and then my belly began to glow steady white. I almost collapsed with relief. I wanted children someday, a whole herd of them, actually. But at the moment I also wanted a life.
I arrived at the burrow late. Not because I had been busy and forgotten the event. In fact I had been pacing in front of my fire place for a good half an hour before I finally took out the floo powder. It was just that if I had arrived early people would have immediately grown suspicious.
Mum and Ron were in the kitchen together. I gave Mum a kiss on the cheek and then cocked an eyebrow at Ron to ask him what he was doing there (Ron is never in the kitchen if he can avoid it). He simply cocked an eyebrow back. I should have known he wouldn't make this easy.
"So who's all here?" I asked, grabbing a carrot from the counter, knowing that if I went for the cookies she'd shove a cleaver through my hand.
"Pretty much everyone. Your Dad's outside showing Bill, Charlie, and George this new thing he got called a Barbie-q. Or maybe it's a grill and you Barbie-q on it. I'm not really sure. Percy and Ginny are watching the kids play Quidditch. And Gabrielle, Lavinia, and Angelina are outside washing the apples for me. We're having pie tonight."
I smiled. Although it was an ongoing joke among the male members of the family that Mum would married off her sons to anyone for the extra help in the kitchen, it was clear that Mum loved each and every addition to her family (even if the youngest ones did get the most attention). Charlie had gotten hitched first to Lavinia Marchutia, a girl he had saved from a rampaging dragon in Romania. Supposedly it had been love at first sight but I know Ron, George, and I had been rather afraid to meet her. I don't remember what exactly we were scared of but the word unibrow comes to mind. Hey, I can't help it if most of the women I have met from the continent are extremely hairy. But she had been absolutely beautiful in this wispy sort of way, and although she possessed a certain regal air she was one of the nicest people I had ever met.
Then Angelina had come along. Although I'm pretty sure that the entire wizarding world had expected her to become a Weasely at one time or another, most of their predictions had surrounded George and myself, although a few adventurous souls had suggested Charlie or Ron. But Angelina and Percy, now that had been a surprise. Yet I think it was one of the best things that has ever happened to our family. Although Percy had grown up after dad's death scare it hadn't been until he had re-met Angelina that the stick had finally been removed from his arse once and for all.
And then there was Bill. He had created quite a scandal with his marriage. Not only was Gabrielle quite a few years his junior, but he had also just got over a messy break-up with her older sister, Fluer, when they had started dating. No one had thought it would last, but it had, and they now had two wedding rings and three children to show for it. (Honestly those French women are like machines.)
As I mentally finished the list I couldn't help but wonder if I should add myself to it. Nah.
I turned back to Mum. "Anyone else coming?"
"Just the usual additions."
"Hermione and Harry really should be here soon," said Ron, looking at his watch. "Oh, are those two are coming together?" She furrowed her brows together.
"What is it Mum?" asked Ron, indulgently.
"Well we really should try to get them together. I mean they'd be the cutest couple. That is if Harry isn't dating another one of those girls." Mum had never really liked Harry's girlfriends. Although I understood where she was coming from (most of them hadn't been able to string together a sentence, but even more importantly they had refused to help do the dishes) they had all been damn hot. Hey, every man needs to sow his wild oats before he ends up shackled. Especially because one never really knows when that is going to happen.
"No, Harry's not dating another one of THOSE girls, but what about Hermione? She might be involved with someone?" with that Ron looked pointedly at me. I stuck out my tongue as Mum placed some garnish on top of the lasagna. I was really going to have my work cut out for me over the next couple of weeks, having so many people's food to curse and all.
"She would have told me," Mum replied. "People always tell me about these sort of things, well everyone except my children." I suddenly pretended to find the window very interesting, and Ron had to suppress a snort.
"Well, I'm going to say hi to dad," I said, deciding it was time to leave. "Oh and Ron your girlfriend left a note for you at the store, but I forgot it. I'm really sorry." He simply sputtered.
"Ronald, why didn't you tell me that you had a girlfriend?"
As I was racing out to the back yard the last thing I heard was Ron protest, "Because I don't." Oh well, what was little lie if it kept me sane for a few more hours.
Harry and I entered the Burrow hand in hand. At least that's how it probably appeared to everyone else. In reality he had been forced to pull me through the fireplace. But no one else had to know that my Gryffindor courage was failing me.
"Hermione! Harry!" Mrs. Weasely said, setting down her knives and hugging us. "It's so good to see you again."
"You too Mrs. Weasley," I replied, wrapping my arms around her.
"Really, Hermione! How many times do I have to tell you that it's Molly now? You're not in school anymore."
"Does that mean I get to call you Molly too?" asked Ron. Mrs. Weasley…erm…Molly turned to glare at him.
"No you may not. And believe me I'm going to find out sooner or later," she hmmphed and then walked over to the counter. Harry and I exchanged glances and then sat down next to Ron.
"What was that all about?" Harry asked him softly.
"You know Hermione, if it weren't for you I would have already told Mum about Fred's Las Vegas Adventure."
"What did he do?" I asked.
"He told mum that I have a girlfriend," he exclaimed quietly. I unsuccessfully tried to smother a snort. "Maybe I should tell her anyway."
"No!" I shrieked, causing Mol… oh who am I kidding? Mrs. Weasley to turn around and look at us. "Please don't."
"A promise is a promise. Oh and I thought you might want to know," he said leaning into whisper, "She's vying to whip you up."
"What?" both Harry and I asked, perhaps a little too loud because Mrs. Weasley's head once again whipped around. After a few moments she went back to her cutting and Ron continued, this time a little clearer.
"She's trying," he moved his hands in emphasis, "to fix you up."
"Oh," I said, not being able to think of anything else.
"She does know that setting Hermione and I up would be like putting you and Ginny on a blind date?" I nodded in agreement
"I don't even attempt to understand how her mind works," said Ron, leaning back into his chair. "Just don't let her send you off to some obscure part of the house in order to find some random object. Chances are you'll find yourselves locked in a room together for the rest of the night."
I looked over at Harry. This was going to be a long night.
Emaleneangel: sorry that was so short, but that's how it naturally breaks up. The next ones are a lot longer.
Kat: Yeah, it has been a while.
Hyper Pearl Girl: Thanks. I'll update every three days or so until I get to knew chapters and then it will be every week. Oh, and I know I ask this a lot, but how did you get your name?
Searching4romeo: thanks so much for sticking with me.
Unread Letters: When I took it down I thought I was doing people a favor. I know when I get into a story and I find out that it's not finished and probably never will be it frustrates me immensely. I'm beginning to realize that I might have been wrong
Antaqui: here it is. And do you mind if I put your bully quote in my quote book?
R: I have something like the next fourteen chapters completed. It's a bit hard though because I can't remember everything I wanted to do.
Enygma: I remember you as Katelyn-black. As I said to Unread Letters: When I took it down I thought I was doing people a favor. I know when I get into a story and I find out that it's not finished and probably never will be it frustrates me immensely. I'm beginning to realize that I might have been wrong.
Jinger: What do you mean by written out? That I had completed it or it was getting boring?
MissKaitou: thank you (blushes)
Seghen: Yeah, not one of her best moments. Wink wink